Books  Physical Sciences  Physics 

From Strange Simplicity to Complex Familiarity: A Treatise on Matter, Information, Life and Thought

By: Manfred Eigen (Author)

784 pages, 265 ccolour & b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Feb 2013 | #200033 | ISBN-13: 9780198570219
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £125.00 $153/€140 approx

About this book

This book presents a vivid argument for the almost lost idea of a unity of all natural sciences. It starts with the strange physics of matter, including particle physics, atomic physics and quantum mechanics, cosmology, relativity and their consequences (Chapter I), and it continues by describing the properties of material systems that are best understood by statistical and phase-space concepts (Chapter II). These lead to entropy and to the classical picture of quantitative information, initially devoid of value and meaning (Chapter III).

Finally, information space and dynamics within it are introduced as a basis for semantics (Chapter IV), leading to an exploration of life and thought as new problems in physics (Chapter V). Dynamic equations  again of a strange (but very general) nature – bring about the complex familiarity of the world we live in. Surprising new results in the life sciences open our eyes to the richness of physical thought, and they show us what can and what cannot be explained by a Darwinian approach. The abstract physical approach is applicable to the origins of life, of meaningful information and even of our universe.


1. Matter and Energy
2. Energy and Entropy
3. Entropy and Information
4. Information and Complexity
5. Complexity and Self-Organisation

Appendix to Chapter 1
Appendix to Chapter 2
Appendix to Chapter 3
Appendix to Chapter 4
Appendix to Chapter 5

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!

Bestsellers in this subject

Exploring Colour in the Environment

NHBS Price: £3.50 $4/€4 approx

Einstein's Masterwork

NHBS Price: £10.99 $13/€12 approx

The Origin and Nature of Life on Earth

NHBS Price: £29.99 $37/€34 approx

A Century of Ideas

NHBS Price: £123.00 $150/€138 approx

Wizards, Aliens, and Starships

NHBS Price: £19.95 $24/€22 approx